They say there are two kinds of North Shore drivers: those that have hit a deer, and those that haven't...yet. I still fall into the second category. But that's only a matter of my own dumb luck. My turn will come.
I'm tempting fate here, but here's what I've learned so far in my stellar no-deer stretch of luck:
- If you keep it under 55 at night, you'll have much more reaction time should Bambi pop out from behind a birch tree.
- Be especially observant at dawn and dusk . I see a lot more deer and they are moving more at those times. They call this behavior "crepuscular," which sounds like "creepy" and "muscular." Which is what deer are at night.
- Watch for flashes. If an oncoming car flashes highbeams at you, it might be a warning that there are deer ahead. Check your own headlights and then keep your eyes out for deer in the next 10-15 seconds.
If you see a deer:
- Where there's one, there may be more. In winter, deer are more likely to move in herds. If one has crossed the road safely, there's a decent chance that a second will follow.Don't let that SECOND one be your FIRST.
- Honk your horn. Flash your highbeams for the oncoming traffic to warn them. No, gangsters won't track you down and kill you for a random gang initiation...that's urban myth.
- Don't swerve. Stay in your lane. Brake firmly but not so hard you lose control. I've had plenty of close calls and stayed in my lane as I braked ("broke?"). By the way, experts suggest that you DO swerve if you're headed for a moose. I have never seen a moose on Highway 61, but it does happen. A 1600-pound moose wins the battle with your car much more often than a 200-pound deer.
Okay, now I've done it. I've jinxed myself. See you at the body shop.